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ChangeMakers : Flora Dodge, Fola.

Updated: Nov 1, 2020

Changemakers : Flora Dodge. Photograph shows suffrage and labor activist Flora Dodge "Fola" La Follette (1882-1970), social reformer and missionary Rose Livingston, and a young striker during a garment strike in New York City in 1913.⁠

Flora Dodge "Fola" La Follette (September 10, 1882 – February 17, 1970) was a women's suffrage and laboractivist from Madison, Wisconsin, United States. At the time of her death in 1970,The New York Times quoted her on women's suffrage: "A good husband is not a substitute for the ballot." She was the daughter of progressive politician Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette and lawyer and women's suffrage leaderBelle Case La Follette, wife of playwright George Middleton, a contributing editor toLa Follette’s Weekly Magazine, an actress, and, with her mother, a chronicler of her father's life.

Women's suffrage and labor activist

La Follette wrote for periodicals in the cause of women's suffrage (see below) and was active in helping her mother in the cause from an early age.

But it was in the merger of La Follette's women's suffrage and acting careers where she made her greatest impact. She performed numerous times in the one-woman play How the Vote was Won, first in 1910, and, in 1912, she appeared in Vaudeville to give a well-received suffragist speech. Anna Shaw, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, wrote La Follette, praising the 1910 play: "I had the pleasure of being present at the benefit performance of 'How the Vote was Won' ... and I have wanted ever since to express to you and the others who took part with you, my appreciation for the splendid help that play was to our cause." For suffragists, La Follette became the embodiment of how they wished to be portrayed. Her wry, gracious performances stood as contradiction to the cliché of the "conventional traditional 'suffragists' who are the butt of the comic-joke maker.

Pic © @libraryofcongress George Grantham Bain Collection, 1913. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.⁠ ⁠Source ⁠

Curator : Munllonch

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